HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

From the Berkshires to Cape Cod, Here is the place for the Bay State waterfowler to discuss and share their Massachusetts duck hunting experiences.

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HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby marshmarauder » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:23 pm

Hi all,

As I've said before in previous posts, I am relatively new to waterfowl hunting and especially waterfowl hunting in MA (originally being from NJ). I plan on hunting the Connecticut River this year, however, I am having trouble finding information on any state website regarding hunting on the river. Is the whole river able to be hunted (keeping state distance laws in mind)? My major question is this…The city of Holyoke, for instance, does not allow the discharge of firearms within city limits. Does this mean I am unable to hunt portions of the Connecticut River "within" Holyoke? I would be hunting from a boat. I'm sure my example is encountered in different areas throughout the state including the Merrimack River out East. I can't find any state publications anyway and keep getting the "run around" with my online searches. If anyone out there has any useful information or can point in the direction of any written documentation that would be fantastic. I will most likely have to end up contacting the EPO's for an answer. It seems like every time I scout out a good spot I end up researching it and finding out it's not able to be hunted for some reason or another. The clock is ticking and I'm looking for answers AND DUCKS!
Thanks Guys and Girls!
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby greener » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:29 am

The city of Holyoke, for instance, does not allow the discharge of firearms within city limits. Does this mean I am unable to hunt portions of the Connecticut River "within" Holyoke?

No discharge means exactly that.

You need to do your homework. Each town is differant. EPOS will be of help many will not as they are not familar with all town regs. I will tell you this waterfowel hunting in inland mass can be very difficult make sure you follow the distance rules... for example many rivers have parks along the banks in which you cannot hunt... call local police to find out discharge laws..... I saw alot of EPOS last season getting folks on that alone hunting to close to house camps along rivers/ ponds..... Google will not help alot... lots of windshiled time and walking and glassing... just my advice good luck...
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby Kraut » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:08 pm

I am not sure this is correct, the EPO i spoke with said if you are on the river, you would not be subject to the non discharge law in that town. Discuss.....
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby Professor_Leakey » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:24 pm

if the river is tidal you can hunt below the high water mark, assuming distances from roads/buildings are all safe and in accordance with the laws.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby duckstopper333 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:51 pm

1st thing you might want to do is visit the CT Valley Wildlife District in Belchertown and "talk" to an actual person about your concerns. If you have specific areas that you are interested in that would be helpful. Then you might also want to speak with an EPO that patrols those areas. EPO's have been know to give hunters hints on where to hunt.

Be prepared to deal with LEO's that might be responding to a "shots fired" call. Often they won't know the law, but they'll try to make you leave anyway. Knowing the area you're hunting is legal and having the name and phone number of an official that told you that spot was legal will be helpful.

Good luck!
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby waterswatter413 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:13 pm

Wasn't )(*&&^ the guy who accused (*&$%^*&^&*^ of shooting an owl then told everyone that all epos are no good...I've enjoyed the forum for a while but be wary of advice from antis like the %^$&^ :fingerhead:
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby pequawhonk1 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:52 pm

Kraut wrote:I am not sure this is correct, the EPO i spoke with said if you are on the river, you would not be subject to the non discharge law in that town. Discuss.....


This is absolutely incorrect. Massachusetts is home rule, therefore, jurisdiction extends to town boundries and in cases of coastal communities or navigable waterway the by-law prhibiting discharge extends to the coperate limit of city or town. If this bad advice was only the case everyone would be hunting the Taunton River in Somerset. I doubt the state would want to get into enforcing town by-laws and they would need specific authorization in the by-law to enforce. If you doubt me ask local police department, since they will be responding and writing you a citation.

Now Rhode Island is another story. State charter cuts cities and towns off at mean high water. One license for shellfishing the entire state. Town or city can say no Sundays and Sundays are fair game below mean high water.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby Kraut » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:12 am

I was referring to the CT river which i believe is federal jurisdiction. Unless some town like Holyoke has a marine division how will the responding officers to "shots fired" be able to interact with me? will they wave and tell me to come hither? Discuss......
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby waterswatter413 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:31 am

I agree with our boston globe loving friend about towns in Wmass not having marine patrol units. That being said guys like him are the reason why we all get painted with the same brush. Also I hate to say it I think that the CT river is a federal area maybe part of the Silvo Conte. At the end of the day he is right no beat cop is going to leave his car in 30-40 degree weather to go wade onto the banks of the river to find out where the shots are coming from. Further more I do think the kraut is an agitator and rabble rouser.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby greener » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:51 am

The Mass EPOS patrol and write citations from everything from fishing to boating. They park their boats on the river. So enforcemnt by the state is going to happen. If you think a beat cop wont get out of his cruiser to investagte go ahead and pull the trigger see what happens ( in a non discharge community). So I ask why the hell would you (DISCUSS)

Also Ive hunted the silvio conte area and state law is enforced per the feds! I asked ...

Oh and this is just my opinion you can do what ever you want to! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby duckstopper333 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:07 pm

You could call the town of Longmeadow (which I believe is a no discharge town) and ask them what their policy is when someone is hunting the island downstream of Bondi's Island. I've heard that the LEO's call over their cruiser's loud speaker to tell you to leave.

Better to find out before you try to hunt in a questionable area or under questionable circumstances than to have to deal with LEO's and maybe end up getting a ticket or going to court, but that's just my opinion.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby Kraut » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:05 pm

Greener this is my point exactly.......... so you have state EPO's in their boats enforcing state fishing and hunting laws. Not town discharge laws. Come at me with all the speakerphones you want from land. Also if they are so bothered by the hunting at six flags island, why not just post a sign saying no hunting? Answer..... because they dont have a boat. (discuss).
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby greener » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:50 pm

Please feel free to do as you whish I'm not going to get into a pissing match .... I have beliefs and will respect all landowners... No duck is worth a tarnish on this great sport .. I saw plenty of duck dynasty bullshit last season I saw and personally was involed in an investigation of idiots shooting like your suggesting... have at it Feel free to argue with epos local lawnenforcement split all the hairs... good luck... And enjoy those flights

No more discuss ...

My kids are waiting to load goose decoys for the morning!

Done
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby Boats84 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:48 am

The colonial ordinances allow you to fish, fowl and navigate below the mean high tide mark regardless of town bylaws. They only apply to coastal waters and not on inland waters. You would have to abide by the town bylaws if inland. If you search the topics there are plenty of past threads with better explanations.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby waterswatter413 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:24 am

Greener what are you talking about! Respect a land owners rights its the friggen CT RIVER! what gets my goat is people like you throwing in their 2 cents on an investigation. Leave people alone if your doing the right thing why go out of your way to bury someone else. I saw plenty of questionable ethics last season but I didnt call the cops or blog about it what I did was talk to the hunters and tell them what the rules were and that their behavior was unacceptable. Shame is a far greater tool then a hefty fine or handcuffs. Fair chase is not something everyone subscribes to but why does that mean if you need to meddle in someones affairs. Its bad enough law enforcement goes with the guilty until proven innocent method why fuel that fire by ratting on others. What if you had falsely accused someone now that EPO or cop thinks that person is a poacher or guilty before even knowing the facts. That reputation would only be gained because someone "had" to assist law enforcement. The job of a law enforcement offical is to enforce the law when they see it being broken. If everyone had the mentality you do then the cops would receive 1000000000 million calls on people speeding or j walking. I assume someone doesn't come to your job and say let me give you a hand. Here is the actual rule for the CT river, if you are underway on a navigable waterway you are not subject to town/city laws but state law as the state owns (for lack of a better term) all water in the commonwealth. If you come to rest, are at anchor, or teathered then you are subject to town/city laws/ordinances. In essence unless you are jump shooting underman power then you can't hunt in those no discharge towns.

:mad:
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby Kraut » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:32 am

yeah i feel like *()&^()(*& thinks he is living a real life episode of banshee. anyone watch that show, its awesome. Waters, i cant help but feel like you shoot birds that land in the deocoys, not very sportsman like.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby waterswatter413 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:39 am

to quote little wayne "I dont bust back I shoot first". I cant help it if the point of using decoys and calls is to get the birds to come to you. My sweet duck syrup just sticks them to the water.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby BlackRockLab » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:10 am

If it's me, I'm talking to the EPO that patrols the specific area that you are referring to. If he says no, I'm not going to push it unless I feel like going to court. Then I'm going to check what town I'm launching my watercraft in. If its in the no discharge town, I wouldn't hunt because the locals would just be waiting at the launch site. If the EPO ok, and I'm launching in another town, I'd do it because the locals are not going to come out on the river after you, they'll call the EPO.

When the no discharge law was passed, they probably weren't considering the river. However, for my actual opinion, I'd really need to see the area. If I was going to be close a residential thickly settled area, I wouldn't want to start shooting early and be a nuisance.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby waterswatter413 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:42 pm

looks like the 1st amendment doesnt apply here... The point of calling someone out is to promote dialog calling someone a smelly goose fart was churldish and uncalled for but I stand by my comments that the %^&* is a flat lander.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby pequawhonk1 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Boats84 wrote:The colonial ordinances allow you to fish, fowl and navigate below the mean high tide mark regardless of town bylaws. They only apply to coastal waters and not on inland waters. You would have to abide by the town bylaws if inland. If you search the topics there are plenty of past threads with better explanations.


Yes mean high water is a common reference and very misunderstood law of the Commonwealth. Many people believe that gives them rights to walk beaches in summer time. Not the case. On with the point, yes, you can fish, fowl and navigate tidal waters and lands throughout the state but home rule does impact these activities. Case in point shellfishing. Need a license for every town because the towns juridictional boundry extends beyond mean high water.

A by-law prohibiting discharge in a town with tidal waters is impacted the same as a pond in an inland community. Come over to SE Massachusetts and hunt the Taunton River in Somerset. You will learn and loose in the courts.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby MIKE J. » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:35 pm

waterswatter413 wrote:looks like the 1st amendment doesnt apply here... The point of calling someone out is to promote dialog calling someone a smelly goose fart was churldish and uncalled for but I stand by my comments that the #$%^ is a flat lander.


you are right, you have no 1st amendment right in a private forum. Promoting dialogue is great, provoking a negative dialogue is not allowed nor tolerated.
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Re: HUNTING MASS WATERWAYS

Postby MIKE J. » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:41 pm

pequawhonk1 wrote:
Boats84 wrote:The colonial ordinances allow you to fish, fowl and navigate below the mean high tide mark regardless of town bylaws. They only apply to coastal waters and not on inland waters. You would have to abide by the town bylaws if inland. If you search the topics there are plenty of past threads with better explanations.


Yes mean high water is a common reference and very misunderstood law of the Commonwealth. Many people believe that gives them rights to walk beaches in summer time. Not the case. On with the point, yes, you can fish, fowl and navigate tidal waters and lands throughout the state but home rule does impact these activities. Case in point shellfishing. Need a license for every town because the towns juridictional boundry extends beyond mean high water.

A by-law prohibiting discharge in a town with tidal waters is impacted the same as a pond in an inland community. Come over to SE Massachusetts and hunt the Taunton River in Somerset. You will learn and loose in the courts.



That's why everyone that hunts the Taunton River stays on the east side of the river and north of Dighton, Hull has a similar no discharge zone of 1000 feet along the coast.
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